Learning to grow parsley can be easy, but it does require some attention to watering. The plant grows best in moist, well-drained soil, but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds to get the watering part down.
The amount of water parsley needs depends on several factors, including the climate, the type of soil, and the amount of sunlight the plant is getting.
How Often to Water Parsley Plants
Parsley likes its soil moist, but not overly wet.
As a general rule of thumb, you should water your parsley plant every 1-3 days. If the weather is particularly hot or dry, you may need to water more frequently. On the other hand, if it’s going to be raining a lot that week, you can dial down your watering frequency.
If you’re not sure whether your parsley needs water, the best way to tell is to stick your finger into the soil. Parsley should be watered whenever the soil feels dry about an inch down.
During the hot summer months, this may be every day or every other day. In cooler weather, parsley will need water less frequently, perhaps once a week or even less.
Whether you are growing parsley in garden beds, pots or grow bags, or are starting seedlings indoors, they are going to have a different watering frequency. Let’s take a look at each scenario to growing parsley.
Growing Parsley Plants in Raised Beds & in the Garden
If you are planting parsley in raised beds or garden beds, you usually only need to water every 1-2 days unless it’s very hot outside. Depending on which zone you live in, your parsley plants can often see quite a bit of rain during parts of the season.
If you live in a more dry area or are experiencing weeks where there is no rain in sight, you’ll want to check your parsley plants daily to make sure they don’t need water.
- With parsley seedlings and starter plants, they often do best with more frequent watering. Check on them daily and make sure the soil doesn’t need some added moisture.
- With more mature plants, or full-grown parsley, they are hardier and can usually go a few days without being watered.
When overhead watering, be sure to use your hose nozzle on the lowest setting or invest in a watering wand that helps with watering accuracy. You want to water the ground around the parsley plant, as wetting the leaves and flowers head can invite fungus and plant viruses to take hold.
How to Water Potted Parsley Plants
If you planted parsley in a container or pot (even if it’s sitting by the door or on the patio), it will require a bit more attention. The sun’s rays are much stronger than the light it will get indoors, and that, along with the wind, will cause the soil to dry out faster.
Make sure your plants are in a good quality potting soil, pots with ample drainage holes, and in an area that gets full sun.
I like to deep water the entire plant, making sure the entire pot is wet and drains the excess water. Usually, after a good deep watering, you can almost always skip the next day (unless it’s going to be really hot).
If the weather is calling for a lot of rain, hold off on watering the parsley so it doesn’t get overwatered.
Keep the soil moist and water as often 2-3 times per week. But also make sure the plant does not sit permanently in wet soil or this can cause overwatering issues (see below).
If the weather forecast is going to be very dry and calls for summer heat, make sure to check the plant (sometimes more than once per day) to see if your outdoor parsley needs a drink of water.
With potted plants, you want to water often so the soil does not dry out completely, but be aware that having overwatered parsley plants can also damage the plant.
Watering When Your Grow Parsley Indoors
An indoor parsley plant will likely require less water because it’s not as warm and the wind isn’t blowing as hard. However, if you do have fans on your plants, then you might want to treat them similarly to if they were outdoors.
Unlike outdoor plants, when you grow parsley indoors they don’t experience rain so all of their water needs are manually being met by you (unless you’re growing them hydroponically).
Starting Seeds & Watering Parsley Seeds
I love starting parsley seeds indoors to get a head start on the growing season. When you sow parsley seeds, you want to water them right away and keep doing that every 1-2 days.
The trays and pots they start off in are small and drain really fast because of the drainage holes, so without regular watering, the parsley can dry out easily.
Once the plants have sprouted and they are up potted into larger containers, the watering doesn’t need to happen quite as often.
Can You Water Your Parsley Plants Too Much?
Yes, you absolutely can overwater parsley plants. Overwatering your plants consistently can even lead to root rot, which is not good when it comes to harvesting parsley leaves.
Signs you are watering your parsley too much:
- Drooping parsley leaves
- Leaf discoloration (i.e. yellow leaves)
- Mushiness around the base of the plant stem
If you suspect you have overwatered your parsley, let the soil dry out before restarting your watering process. The plant will be fine with dry soil for a little bit, but make sure to keep and eye and don’t let it fly back the other way and let the plant roots dry out too much.
Make sure you have your parsley planted in well-drained soil.
Growing Parsley Can Be Easy
Parsley just needs direct sunlight (full sun or partial shade), and water every couple of days to grow well. Water your parsley plants deeply and regularly during the growing season, but allow the top of the soil to dry out between watering.
A good watering schedule will give your herbs the best shot at optimal growth and a good yield for you to harvest (or for the butterflies to utilize!).
Reduce watering during the fall and winter months, as overwatering can cause root rot and other problems.